Xiaomi 5G mobile communications censorship

Occurred: September 2021

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Lithuania's National Cyber Security Centre has discovered (pdf) that Xiaomi mobile phones have a built-in ability to automatically detect and censor over 449 terms, including 'Free Tibet', 'Long live Taiwan independence' and 'democracy movement'.

The investigators say the software had been turned off on Xiaomi's Mi 10T 5G phone for the 'European Union region', but could be turned on remotely at any time.

The Lithuanian government is recommending its citizens not to buy new Chinese phones, and quickly to get rid of those already purchased.

Operator: Xiaomi
Country: Lithuania
Purpose: Detect & censor sensitive terms
Technology: Content moderation
Issue: Freedom of expression - censorship; Security
Transparency: Governance